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“Figueroa Spectres, 1935-1997,” a photo montage by Philip J. Ethington.

Ghost Stories

July 30, 2015

For Philip J. Ethington, it’s been more séance than research — this long journey back to raise old ghosts and their attendant stories. Ethington, professor of history and political science at USC Dornsife,…

Associate Professor of Political Science Jeb Barnes. Photo by Peter Zhaoyu Zhou.

How Policy Shapes Politics

July 21, 2015

Jeb Barnes, associate professor of political science, recently co-authored How Policy Shapes Politics: Rights, Courts, Litigation, and the Struggle Over Injury Compensation. The book delves into the nation’s increasing…

The tiny fossil sponge was just 1.2 millimeters in width, seen here in a high-resolution scanning electron microscope image. Photo courtesy of Zongjun Yin/Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology.

Fossil Upsets Evolutionary Model

July 7, 2015

Researchers have unearthed a fossil of a sponge, no bigger than a grain of sand, that existed 60 million years earlier than many expected. This is the first time paleontologists have found a convincing fossil sponge specimen…

Suzanne Hudson, associate professor of art history at USC Dornsife, examines the staying power of painting as an art form in her new book, <em>Painting Now</em>. Photo courtesy of Suzanne Hudson.

Living Art

July 1, 2015

Art historian Suzanne Hudson can’t keep up with the tally, the number of invested observers — critics, curators and even artists themselves — who have come forward to whisper last rites. Sifting through…

Individual populations of mosquitoes are likely to have evolved resistance to whatever local selection pressures are typical in their area. Photo by Vectorbase.org.

Humans Push Mosquitoes to Adapt

June 25, 2015

Every time you put on bug spray this summer, you’re launching a strike in the ongoing war between humans and mosquitoes — one that is rapidly driving the evolution of the pests. Scientists studying mosquitoes in…

Josh Kun and his team weave together the threads of culinary history in Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library Special Collections.

What Menus Can Tell Us About Our City

June 25, 2015

Menus are ostensibly utilitarian objects, enabling patrons to figure out what dishes are available at a restaurant. But in his latest book, To Live and Dine in L.A.: Menus and the Making of a Modern City, author, curator and…

Angela Flournoy, a Southern California native, has had a lifelong relationship with Detroit, where her father was raised. Photo by LaToya T. Duncan.

This Must Be the Place

June 23, 2015

Angela Flournoy can recall an early visit to Detroit with her father when she was a young girl. He drove Flournoy and her sister around the East Detroit neighborhood where he had grown up, pointing out the locations of…

The stress of frequent exposure to family conflict takes a toll on the teenage brain, according to researchers in USC Dornsife's psychology department.

Parents’ yelling takes heavy toll on teens

June 22, 2015

Parents’ yelling is a turnoff for teens, but don’t mistake their emotional shutdown as a sign of ennui. It may be a sign of aggression. In a recent study, researchers at USC Dornsife explored how the stress of…

Valter Longo has previously shown how fasting can help starve out cancer cells while protecting immune and other cells from chemotherapy toxicity.

Fasting-type diet appears to slow aging

June 22, 2015

Want to lose abdominal fat, get smarter and live longer? New research led by USC’s Valter Longo shows that periodically adopting a diet that mimics the effects of fasting may yield a wide range of health benefits. In a…

Pieces such as this untitled pebble sculpture helped build Dadaist Kurt Schwitters’ reputation as the  “father of installation art.” Assistant Professor Megan Luke of art history chronicles the artist’s struggles under Nazism and in later exile.

Portrait of an Artist in Exile

June 19, 2015

A fresh look at a celebrated artist’s life and place in history has received the Robert Motherwell Book Prize — a $10,000 award from the Dedalus Foundation for the author of “an outstanding publication in the…